Zirconia Dental Crowns

Zirconia dental crowns are one of the most common procedures implemented in dentistry, specifically designed for the fabrication and placement of a durable and aesthetic solution. Dental crowns have been used as a viable method to restore and preserve teeth for decades. A dental crown, sometimes commonly referred to as a “cap”, is used to restore a tooth that has sustained a significant loss of tooth structure due to dental decay, fracture, or failure of previous dental restorations. As the name suggests, a dental crown covers the entirety of the tooth in order to provide additional strength, and structure, and prevent further harm.

Zirconia Dental Crowns Auburn

Zirconia Dental Crown

Throughout the history of dentistry, a number of different materials have been used for the fabrication of different types of dental crowns. Full metal/gold crowns were among the first to be used and are even still used today to treat back teeth due to their favorable mechanical properties. Over time, more esthetic options were needed and thus dental ceramics were created, including high translucent zirconia for a more natural look…

Types Of Zirconia Teeth

There are two main types of zirconia crowns.

Monolithic Zirconia Crowns:

This type of crown is made from a single, solid piece of zirconia. It’s incredibly strong and provides high durability, making it a good choice for back teeth that endure a lot of chewing pressure. However, monolithic zirconia can be somewhat opaque, which means it may not blend in perfectly with surrounding teeth.

Layered Zirconia:

This type of crown is made from a core of zirconia, that is then layered with porcelain. This allows for a more natural-looking crown that can better match the color and translucence of surrounding teeth. Layered zirconia crowns are not quite as strong as monolithic crowns, but they are still very durable and can be a good option for both front and back teeth.

Advantages Of Zirconia Crowns

The term “dental ceramics” encompasses a wide variety of different materials, however, one of the newest and most highly utilized today is dental zirconia, which has a number of advantages. Some of these zirconia crown benefits are:

  1. High Strength
    • Zirconia is currently the strongest dental material available for dental crown fabrication. Zirconia’s specific chemical composition is designed as such that it prevents cracks from starting and will also prevent cracks from getting larger when they do form. This means that a zirconia dental crown is less likely to fracture compared to other dental materials, reducing the frequency with which it would need to be replaced.
  2. Allows for less tooth structure removal
    • Whenever a tooth requires a dental crown, there is a portion of the tooth that must be shaved away in order to allow space for the crown material. As a result of zirconia’s especially high strength, a smaller amount of material thickness is required and thus a smaller amount of tooth structure needs to be removed. This can lead to reduced sensitivity following the procedure and a reduced risk of agitating the tooth’s nerve.
  3. Esthetic, natural appearance
    • Zirconia dental crowns can be specially made to recreate or even enhance the tooth structure being replaced. These crowns have the strength to withstand the biting forces sustained by back teeth, but can also be used on front teeth to create a beautiful smile…
  4. Ceramic option
    • Zirconia is a variety of ceramic dental materials and avoids many of the disadvantages that traditional metals present when used in the mouth. Many metals may cause allergies or other reactions that make them intolerable to the patient. Zirconia has properties that make it very “biocompatible,” which means that it is generally well tolerated by the body and has a low incidence of adverse reactions. This biocompatibility makes it the ideal choice for those who need dental crowns and have metal sensitivity.

Disadvantages Of Having a Zirconia

  1. Cost: One of the zirconia disadvantages is its cost. They are typically more expensive than traditional metal-based crowns or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns. This is because of the advanced materials and manufacturing involved.
  2. Adjustments: Compared to other materials like porcelain, zirconia can be more difficult to adjust or modify once placed in the mouth. This means getting a precise fit during the initial procedure is crucial.
  3. Opacity: Monolithic zirconia, especially, can be less translucent than natural teeth, appearing slightly opaque. This might be less noticeable for back teeth but could be a concern for front teeth. Layered zirconia helps address this with a porcelain coating, but may not achieve the same level of translucence as some other crown materials.
  4. Wear on opposing teeth: While zirconia itself is very durable, its hardness can cause more wear on the teeth that come into contact with it over time. This can be mitigated by using a nightguard.
  5. Potential for fracture: Although strong, zirconia crowns are not invincible and can fracture under extreme force or clenching.
Zirconia Crown Auburn
Zirconia Teeth Auburn

Interested in a reliable dental option? Discover the benefits of zirconia dental crowns for healthier teeth and a stunning smile through Timothy A. Hess DDS. Dive into our article on ICON® – Addressing Cavities Without Drilling for all the details.